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Ceremony at One-Year Anniversary of Firefighter Deaths Draws Fresh Emotions

(A bugler plays during a memorial ceremony for Philadelphia firefighters killed in action.  Credit: John Ostapkovich)

(A bugler plays during a memorial ceremony for Philadelphia firefighters killed in action. Credit: John Ostapkovich)

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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia firefighters, remembering two colleagues killed a year ago and a third lost just last weekend, today heard from a woman who more than shares their pain.

At a memorial on the one-year anniversary of the Kensington warehouse fire that killed Lt. Robert Neary and firefighter Daniel Sweeney (see related story), Neary’s widow Diane thanked God and the brotherhood of firefighters for the strength to carry on.

But she says the troops are being abandoned by the generals.

(Diane Neary, widow of fire Lt. Robert Neary.  Credit: John Ostapkovich)

(Diane Neary, widow of fire Lt. Robert Neary. Credit: John Ostapkovich)

“I don’t know how many more of these gentlemen have to die,” Neary (right) told those gathered for today’s ceremony outside City Hall.  “I don’t know how many more broken hearts of families and in the brotherhood can be broken.  I don’t know when the City of Philadelphia will think what these men deserve.”

Mrs. Neary says that, yes, money is an issue, but so too is feeling that your lives and your efforts are appreciated.

A separate posterboard at the memorial remembered Capt. Michael Goodwin, killed last Saturday in a Queen Village blaze (see related story).

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